Leah is the CEO and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, a social enterprise with a technology, logistics and civic engagement model that aims to fight hunger and promote sustainability by preventing perfectly good food from entering the waste stream and directly distributing to organizations that benefit those who are food insecure. Founded in 2015, 412 Food Rescue is one of the fastest-growing food recovery organizations in the U.S. Creating the infrastructure for national retailers, 412 Food Rescue has prevented over 8 million pounds of food from going to waste via technology that mobilizes over 8,000 drivers in 5 cities –food rescue heroes–the largest volunteer food transport network. 412 Food Rescue’s innovative distribution model bridges the last mile and significantly impacts access and food security as well as mitigates food waste’s impact on the environment.
By redirecting surplus food about to go to waste, 412 Food Rescue responds to SDG Target 12.3 – to halve per capita food waste by 2030, as well as redirects perfectly good food to organizations that serve those who are food insecure, responding to SDG 2. Food waste is one of the major sources of carbon emissions and wastes significant natural resources. By redirecting food from going to landfill, the organization also helps mitigate climate change, responding to SDG 13.
Tracking with SDG 2030, the Food Rescue Hero technology platform aims to be in 100 cities by 2030.
Leah’s work at 412 Food Rescue has been featured in national media including NPR, Fast Company, FoodTank, Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Bust Magazine, and Civil Eats. In 2020, the Food Rescue Hero technology platform will be named a CES Innovation Honoree. In 2019 it won the Carnegie Science Award for Information Technology and in 2018 was recognized as Pittsburgh Tech 50’s “StartUp of the Year.” Leah has won numerous awards for her work including the We Empower UN SDG challenge in 2019, a global award for women social entrepreneurs. In 2018 she was named “Pittsburgher of the Year” by Pittsburgh City Paper and in FoodTank‘s “17 Food Heroes to Inspire Us in 2017.”
Leah received her graduate degree in Public Policy & Technology from Carnegie Mellon University. She serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Block Center for Technology & Society at Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. She was born and raised in the Philippines and currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.